Sabic Innovative Plastics US LLC has opened a new plant making Ultem-brand polyetherimide resin in Cartagena, Spain.
The 90-employee plant the second global Ultem production site represents an investment of 300 million euros (almost $400 million) for Pittsfield, Mass.-based Sabic IP.
It primarily will make Ultem base resin, but also will be able to produce Extem-brand polyimides, officials said in a news release issued Sept. 23, the day of the plant's ribbon-cutting.
Ultem resins made in Cartagena will be used in a variety of applications including light-emitting-diode lighting, aerospace interiors and alternative-energy equipment.
Our commitment to innovation through new product technologies is stronger than ever, Sabic IP President and CEO Charlie Crew said in the release. This new facility demonstrates the significant investments we at Sabic Innovative Plastics are making to better serve our customers with material solutions to help them innovate and grow.
Sabic IP ranks as one of the world's largest producers of engineering resins and compounds. The firm also makes Ultem at a plant in Mount Vernon, Ind. On a global basis, the new plant will increase Ultem supply by 35 percent, officials said.
Earlier this year, a new health-care Ultem grade was used in a sterilization and transportation container made by Ritter GmbH of Waldenbuch, Germany. LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG an airline catering firm based in Neu-Isenburg, Germany also recently began using an in-flight trolley with ultraviolet-light-resistant Ultem profiles and door latches.
Another new Ultem application is in composite aerospace board sheets designed to be used in aircraft sidewalls, cockpit panels, ceiling panels, door liners and dividers. The sheets were co-developed with Crane & Co., a Dalton, Mass.-based firm that also is manufacturing the products.
Sabic IP is a unit of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Sabic majority-owned by the Saudi government posted sales of about 73 billion Saudi riyals ($19.5 billion) in the first half of 2010.